Monday, April 27, 2015

EPLWA Round-Up - Week One

Wenatchee opened with a narrow loss at Seattle Saturday
Most of the Evergreen Premier League kicked off play this weekend, but it was a tough couple opening days for Wenatchee FC and Yakima United, who both fell in their season debuts while the Spokane Shadow wait another week to get things under way.

Saturday, April 25

Josh Alvarez provided Wenatchee's tally
Wenatchee FC 1 :: 2 Seattle Stars 

The Capitals nearly opened the scoring in the early minutes of the match, but a headed corner tipped over the bar by Seattle goalkeeper Scott Barnum proved key as the hosts were able to take the lead at the 10-minute mark through Cornelius Ieremie. Neiman Alessandro doubled the advantage in the 25th minute as the Stars took control of the contest in Everett.

Wenatchee began making progress toward a comeback in the second half and cut the deficit in half when a throw-in from Fabian Alvarez found Josh Alvarez, a standout freshman striker at Wenatchee Valley College who led the NWAC in points with 44 on 19 goals (second most to 20 by Adam Talley of North Idaho College and Spokane Shadow) and six assists. The Leavenworth product headed it home in the 65th, but that was all the Capitals could find in their bid to at least get a point in their opener. The loss keeps Wenatchee winless against the Stars who won 2-1 at Wenatchee in their first meeting last year and 5-1 in Everett.

Scoring Summary - SEA: Cornelius Ieremie 10, Neiman Allessandro 25; WEN: Josh Alvarez (Fabian Alvarez) 65
Goalkeepers - SEA: Scott Barnum; WEN: Mauricio Sanchez
Location - Goddard Stadium (Everett); Attendance - 45

Sunday, April 26

Vancouver Victory 3 :: 1 Yakima United

Hector Valdovinos (L)
The Hoppers home opener started off on the wrong foot when Timur Zhividze scored 27 minutes in on a penalty after being fouled by Daniel Hernandez in the area, but rebounded just a minute later when Hector Valdovinos, the team's leading scorer a year ago, took advantage of a bad bounce in the area to score from 14 yards out. The Victory had two close calls in the first half with Ian Schimandle and Zhividze both hitting the woodwork, but the game went to the break even.

The game, however, was strongly in favor of the visitors, who held a 16-2 advantage in shots in the game and added two in the second half for the win. A flicked-on header from Nathaniel Cheney set up Zhividze's second goal six minutes into the second half as he beat a defender and sent the ball back post under sprawling goalkeeper Jacob Rhoads. Zhividze played a role on the insurance tally as well, flicking the ball to Zach Naylor, who delivered a volley from the edge of the area in the 81st.

The win was the first for new Victory head coach Aaron Lewis.

Scoring Summary - VAN: Timur Zhividze (pen) 27, Zhividze (Nathaniel Cheney) 51, Zach Naylor (Zhividze) 81;  YAK: Hector Valdovinos 28
Goalkeepers - VAN: Arne Niermann; YAK: Jacob Rhoads
Location - Marquette Stadium (Yakima); Attendance - 205

South Sound 5 :: 1 Bellingham United

In a showdown of two of the top four teams last year, and arguably the regional rivals in the Puget Sound area, the Shock delivered quite a message in their opener on the road. They knocked in five goals in the opening 37 minutes of the contest with Danny Minniti, listed as a left back on the roster, providing two goals and two assists on the first four of them. Tyler John also scored twice, including the opener five minutes in, and had a second assist on Minniti's second tally.

Former Hammer Kellan Brown scored in the 34th against his old side, which managed to at least spoil the shutout in the 69th minute on a Mo Mareneh tally.

Scoring Summary - SS: Tyler John (Danny Minniti) 5, Minniti (Vincent McCluskey) 25, Minniti (JJ Schmeck, John) 31, Kellan Brown (Minniti) 34, John (Taylor Jackson) 37; BEL: Mo Mareneh (Nick Cashmere) 69
Goalkeepers - SS: Chris Kintz / JJ Olson; BEL: Felix Cruz / Riley Liddle
Location - Civic Stadium (Bellingham); Attendance: 422


Timur Zhividze
Tyler John (South Sound): Scored the opening goal for the Shock five minutes into the 5-1 win at Bellingham and went on to set up the third with a cross and put the lead out of reach by scoring the fifth. A freshman at Highline CC last fall, he may be splitting time with the Sounders U23 side in the USL PDL this summer as well.

Danny Minniti (South Sound): In a surprising 5-1 victory at Bellingham, he played a key role in the attack with two goals and two assists as they Shock stunned the home crowd in the first half. He is a Tacoma native that went to school at St Mary's College, Waldorf College (Iowa) and Tacoma CC and has also played locally in the Major Arena Soccer League (indoor) with Tacoma Stars.

Timur Zhividze (Vancouver Victory): Led the team to a 3-1 victory at Yakima, playing a role in all three goals. The Russian sophomore from Concordia, where he led the team in scoring last fall with 13 goals and six assists, scored the first from the spot after being fouled and then broke the tie in the second half before also setting up the insurance tally.


Saturday, May 2 

Vancouver Victory @ Olympic Force 7:00

Sunday, May 3

Yakima United @ Bellingham United 3:00
South Sound @ Seattle Stars 5:30
Spokane Shadow @ Wenatchee 6:00

## EPLWA on INWsn ##